"Flagrant disrespect for the institutions of government established by the Constitution, including the Congress and this court."— Andrew deGrandpre (@adegrandpre) February 20, 2020
BREAKING: Roger Stone sentenced to 3+ years in prison. (It will be deferred as judge considers his retrial request)
Donald Trump’s:— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) February 20, 2020
Campaign chair: felon
Deputy campaign chair: felon
Foreign policy adviser: felon
Personal lawyer: felon
National security adviser: felon
Longtime political adviser: felon https://t.co/gV9hPeFc2x
This is an important statement from the Judge (Stone convicted for covering up for Trump) because it will make it much more difficult for Trump to pardon/commute without such an act constituting a total abuse of power. https://t.co/UASNO2T7IR— Richard Signorelli (@richsignorelli) February 20, 2020
Jonathan Turley, who so far as I know has NO experience as a criminal prosecutor or defense attorney, was on NPR this morning complaining about the original sentencing recommendation of the DOJ. It was, he claimed, too excessive. Judge Jackson today didn't think so.
“The government’s initial memorandum was thorough, well-researched and supported,” in concordance with the record and DOJ policy.— Andrew Prokop (@awprokop) February 20, 2020
“Any suggestion that the prosecutors in this case did anything untoward” is incorrect.
And in what could be a direct response to Professor Turley:
Crabb is up to speak for the government.— Andrew Prokop (@awprokop) February 20, 2020
ABJ: “I fear that you know less about the case, saw less of the testimony, and saw less of the exhibits than just about any other person in this courtroom” (with the possible exception of Stone’s new attorney who just joined the team)
As I've said, never presume to know another lawyer's case better than that lawyer does. I would also note here, for those who like the weeds of these matters, that Andrew Prokop provides tweets of the entire process of the Judge going through the sentencing guidelines and the offenses Stone was convicted on. The tl;dr is that she ends, first, where the DOJ did, at first and, finally, in this hearing:
So we end up at an offense level of 27. Guidelines range that would apply is 70-87 months, the judge says.— Andrew Prokop (@awprokop) February 20, 2020
(Note: We are still just calculating the guidelines. ABJ can now depart from them as she wishes for the actual sentence.)
That she departed from that is, according to lawyers with experience in these matters on Twitter, not a surprise; nor an indication the Judge acted in any way except as a part of an independent judiciary. And even the DOJ lawyer before the judge upheld the case made by the DOJ:
DOJ prosecutor Crabb recommends incarceration for Stone, says “This prosecution was and this prosecution is righteous.”— Megan Mineiro (@MMineiro_CNS) February 20, 2020
Is William Barr going to resign now? Sure; and water is going to run uphill, too. Still, things got interesting with Crabb, the lawyer who drew the short straw to appear in this hearing:
The Judge wants to know who wrote the 2nd sentencing memo DOJ submitted in the Stone case, the one the reflected Trump’s views not the law & the facts. Can’t think of a legit reason for a prosecutor to decline to answer the court’s question. https://t.co/VePHLMbKJO— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) February 20, 2020
This is how that went:
ABJ quizzing Crabb on the initial sentencing memo.— Andrew Prokop (@awprokop) February 20, 2020
Did it get up to the US Attorney?
Yes, Crabb said.
ABJ: Did it have to go up to Main Justice?
Crabb: There were consultations with Main Justice.
ABJ: With respect to the second filing — you signed it. Did you write it?— Andrew Prokop (@awprokop) February 20, 2020
Crabb: I’m not at liberty to discuss the internal deliberations in DOJ.
ABJ: Were you directed to write it by someone else?
Crabb: I can’t answer.
Translated: "I want to keep my job, Judge, and I just want to get out of here." The Judge was wise enough to not shoot the hapless messenger. And to her eternal credit, everything Judge Jackson said was aimed at blocking Trump from issuing a pardon, a power she doesn't have but would clearly like to, if only for this case.
Judge Jackson says the judicial system demands a neutral party decide sentence and not someone who has a "longstanding" relationship with Stone, or whose political career depended on Stone.— Megan Mineiro (@MMineiro_CNS) February 20, 2020
“The court cannot be influenced by those comments. They were entirely inappropriate.”
Judge sums up case thusly: "He was not prosecuted for standing up for the president; he was prosecuted for covering up for the president."— Rachel Weiner (@rachelweinerwp) February 20, 2020
On Stone's defense of “So what?" judge echoes prosecutors: "Of all the circumstances in this case, that may be the most pernicious. The truth still exists, the truth still matters. Roger Stone's insistence that it doesn’t ... are a threat to our most fundamental institutions"— Rachel Weiner (@rachelweinerwp) February 20, 2020
But we should remember this is what judges do, and why our legal system relies on them:
Please stop referring to J.Jackson’s enumeration of her reasons for Stone’s sentence as a “tongue lashing.” That’s not what it is. It’s something she’s required to do by law, it’s something that she did eloquently (see below) & did no more harshly than judges do every day. https://t.co/JqgbMdenOM— Mimi Rocah (@Mimirocah1) February 20, 2020
Still, this is important:
Judge Berman as she sentences Stone: "He was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president.” @SharonLNYT https://t.co/yFjLJi0yDZ— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) February 20, 2020
Because the obvious sentiment behind it, aside from merely upholding the rule of law, is: "Pardon this!" Trump just found out he'd walked into a buzz saw. Now he's waiting for FoxNews to tell him what to think. Meanwhile:
Roger Stone is met with yells of "lock him up!" as he exits the courthouse following his sentencing pic.twitter.com/hc5vxb0qpj— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 20, 2020